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Housing Glossary

You will find information here on all topics relating to housing in Barcelona


Accrued interest

The interest applied as a penalisation when the debtor does not comply with repayment obligations. The amount must be established in the contract.

Active supermortgage

This allows the client to choose their loan's benchmark index (MIBOR at three months, six months or a year) so that payment can benefit from lower interest rates sooner.

Adaptable instalment

Characteristic of UCI superloans that allow the borrower to not pay one instalment a year for the first three years if there are problems due to holidays, extraordinary expenses, etc.

Advanced cancellation fee

A commission arising from the financial risk involved in the advanced cancellation of an operation. The applied commission compensates the financial institution for its financial losses.


Direct state aid for paying the deposit on a property.

Affordable housing

Group of social housing or dwellings from social renovation projects that are sold or rented at below-market prices.

Affordable rent

The cost of renting these dwellings is below market prices after being included in operations concerning the rented flat pool, social renovation or social housing promotions.


Payment made to repay a loan.

Amortisation period

The duration of the loan. The contract establishes the date of the first and last payments. The longer the period, the lower the payments are, but the higher the interest. You therefore pay more in the end. The monthly instalment should not exceed 35% of your net income.


Estate agent. A qualified professional who acts as an intermediary between the two interested parties to facilitate the signing of a real estate contract, which can be a rental agreement, a sales agreement or another similar contract. They usually charge a percentage of the sales price as compensation or commission.


A citizen who makes a registration application to the Barcelona Social Housing Applicants Registry, and who represents the other members of the dwelling unit included in the application.


Annual Equivalent Rate. Effective annual cost of the mortgage in terms of interest, commissions and the repayment period. To compare loans, it is not enough to just look at the lowest APR, you also have to compare the conditions, the repayment period and the distribution of instalment payments.

Arbitri municipal de plusvàlua

Former denomination of the capital gains tax on landed property.


The value of a dwelling certified by a specialised assessment company, in accordance with the mortgage market law. This certificate not only indicates the real value of the property, it also serves as a reference for obtaining the necessary financing.


Document in which the owner authorises the tenant to carry out building work in the dwelling's interior.

Close glossary

Housing offices only offer face-to-face assistance by prior appointment, so check out the “Housing calls you” service here to receive the most appropriate personalised assistance. If you also need assistance in energy rights, book an appointment with an energy-advice point (PAE) by clicking here. On the other hand, if you reside in an IMHAB public dwelling you can consult our contact, management and processing channels here.​

United in the fight against energy poverty

19/09/2018 - 13:47

Energy rights. The second edition of the Catalan congress on this issue is being held on 8 and 9 November and centres on joint strategies to stand up for energy rights.

The 2nd Catalan Congress on Energy Poverty is being held on 8 and 9 November and brings together various organisations and municipal councils to debate and promote joint action to combat energy poverty, a phenomenon which affects over 170,000 people in Barcelona. Over the two-day congress an energy advice point will be operating at the Cotxeres de Sants community centre, offering advice for members of the public on energy savings and the defence of energy rights.

The second edition of the Catalan Congress on Energy Poverty will delve into the structural causes of energy poverty and the current state of energy rights. Over the two days, organisations and municipal administrations will be proposing solutions and joint strategies to tackle the main problems relating to energy poverty more efficiently. These include rises in energy costs, the condition of homes built without any energy efficiency criteria and the socio-economic situation of families.

In Barcelona there are 170,000 people who have difficulty paying their electricity, gas and water bills. According to the study ‘Municipal Indicators for Energy Poverty in the City of Barcelona’, the most common profile among people suffering energy poverty (67.9%) is that of unemployed women in rented housing, mainly with problems paying for their electricity bills.

Energy advice point at the congress

Over the two days of the congress, on 8 and 9 November, an energy advice point will be set up to offer members of the public information and empower people in terms of their energy rights. There are eleven of these advice points around the city offering personalised support to help people get their electricity, water and gas costs down, optimise services, improve energy efficiency in the home and handle matters with companies.

People unable to pay for their water, electricity and gas bills, as well as anyone needing help with dealing with procedures, can approach their nearest energy advice point.


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